Devotional Blog

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 It's Your Time to Dance, Don't Stop Moving!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 (NIV)
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

There are times in your life when friends and family expect you to be sad, downtrodden, heartbroken, a flat out mess when you experience hardship in your life. However, you are happy, hopeful, joyful, and peaceful. Now, I am not saying that we do not grieve, because all we do, and it is a necessary process. Even the scripture indicates that there is a time for everything. Yet, sometimes people grieve while going through the wind, cloudy days, and the drizzling. During these times, when few prayers go up and calls come your way! Therefore, when the storm hits, while people are calling expecting sadness, you are dancing in the rain awaiting your rainbow. Your rainbow that not only represents the covenant with God's chosen people but the covenant that God will never leave nor forsake you, the covenant that trouble does not last always, the covenant that greater is coming, and the covenant that the rain is just to purify you to be whole for the next blessings in your life! Today, I encourage you to first and foremost be honest with yourself and reflect on your time during your grieving process. I encourage you to create healthy structural outlets so you can be purified by the rain and not drowned in the rain. I encourage to be steadfast in the covenant that God has promised you. I encourage you to keep dancing and don't stop moving because your blessing is coming! It's your time!

James 1:12 Tempt of Evil vs. Test of Faith

James 1:12 (NLT)
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Temptation can be experienced in two forms: temptation of man and earthly things and temptation by God. When we are tempted by man and earthly things, we should escape from it. However, when God tempts us, it is not a tempt of evil but a test of faith. As our scripture reminds us, blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life. Therefore, endure through the desire and enticement of the earthly temptation, and maintain your faith when "tempted" by God.

Psalm 19:1-2 He Is Everything You Need

Psalm 19:1-2
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

This scripture reminds me that God is everything you need in life even when things are going wrong. Let the work of God’s hand be the encouragement that you need to press through the storms. Always remember, joy is a by-product of a relationship with God, not your circumstances, material items, or even your education. Stay close to God, see the work of His hands, and everything else will fall into place.

Isaiah 41:10-11 Who Do You Fear?

Isaiah 41:10-11 (NIV)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. "All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.

As I reflect on today’s scripture, it reminds me that the only person, thing, entity, etc. that I should fear is God and God alone. For His word says, honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, and honor the king. When we become under spiritual attack of the enemy we need to make sure that we are not afraid of Satan. For the bible also says that yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. As you face attacks, adversities, and strife, remember to be bold and fearless for God is with you. He has promised to strengthen you. And God is the only being to fear!

Proverbs 22:1 Do You Sell Out Your Faith for Success?

Proverbs 22:1 (ESV)
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

Do you walk in integrity? As I reflect on today’s scripture, it is reminding us that maintaining a good name is to be chosen over wealth? Ask yourself, have you sold out your faith for success? Have you disavowed your morals for recognition? As a Christian, it is necessary to trust that God has great plans in store for you and where He can take you is far greater than any human being. Always remember you cannot glorify Christ and engage in deceit at the same time. Choose this day what God you will serve and choose wisely.

Matthew 10:5-8 Do You Freely Give to Everyone?

Matthew 10:5-8 (NIV)
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Today’s scripture reminds us that as we freely receive, we should also freely give. It is a blessing to share your time, talent, and even possessions with others. God wants us to be cheerful, generous, and courageous especially to non-believers. However, in today’s world it may be hard given radical religious views that have people slain and ostracized, resulting in many Christians afraid to acknowledge their God. Today’s scripture reminds us that God wants us to share our time and talent with everyone, not just fellow Christians. Therefore, do not be ashamed to share the gospel and know that God will be with you even in the times of terror. I encourage you to go out and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, and make the commitment to have an overflowing heart that will echo the great love you have for Christ and his children.

Ephesians 4:26-27 Are You in Control of Your Emotions?

Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT)
And "don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

As I reflect on today's scripture, do not let the sun go down on your anger, and don't give the devil a foothold, opportunity, or advantage; I am reminded of how the enemy attacks using our emotions. Even Jesus became angry when He witnessed unholy actions in the temple. However, anger is not an emotion that should be given into easily and frequently. Jesus was right in his anger but He did not let it consume Him. There will be many events, especially small ones in life that will evoke anger and tempt us to be filled with hatred, bitterness, and regret. I encourage you today to defeat those emotions and turn to God. Do not let the sun go down without forgiving and freeing yourself from negative emotions. Turn to God in the times of need instead of giving the devil advantage over you.

Hebrews 12:11 Have You Been Trained by Discipline?

Hebrews 12: 11 (ESV)
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

More often than not, it is easy to identify a disciplined versus undisciplined person. Disciplined people understand the importance and necessity it has in and for one's life. Discipline of the mind, body, and spirit is challenging and as the scripture notes painful rather than pleasant. Although that may be true, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Fasting and praying diligently produces the discipline that is needed for what God has called us to do; for God has not called us to impurity, but to sanctification. I encourage you to be a person of discipline, who works diligently and faithfully toward a bountiful harvest. Pray that your conduct shows others what it means to be a faithful Christian. Therefore, today choose to be disciplined in your mind, body, and spirit, so you can yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

James 3:16 Zealousness for Christ or Jealousy for Others?

James 3:16 - For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Do you possess zealousness for Christ or jealousy for others? Considering the competitive world that we live in, do you tend to be on fire for Christ knowing that He is the way-maker or do you tend to covet your friends, family, and even enemies? Now, I am not blind to the fact that we are imperfect beings. Hence, seeing others in certain positions or possessing material things may incite a spirit of envy. However, I submit to you the more you count your blessings instead of others, the better off you'll be. Our scripture even reminds us there will be disorder and every vile practice when jealousy and selfish ambition exist. I encourage you to ask God to deliver you from the pain of jealousy so you may be zealous for Christ!

Proverbs 19:21 Is Your Plan God's Plan?

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

In life many of us have been guilty of either trying to take over God’s role in our lives or planning so much that we do not leave space for God. All while God is sitting back waiting for us to say, I avail myself to you. Today, I encourage you to pray that whatever uniquely designed plan God has for your life that it manifests. I encourage you to take five minutes each day and sit in silence while you seek His purpose in your life. I encourage you to take a step back and petition God to give you His vision and take away your vision. Amen.

2 Corinthians 10:4 Our Weapons Are Spiritual

2 Corinthians 10:4
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty throughout God to the pulling down of strong holds

During these times of international war, national gang violence, communities condoning racism, and school shootings, we are quick to think that violence is the answer to solve any and all problems. However, as Christians it is important that we stop and pray for wisdom before retaliating especially with violence. As our scripture reminds us, our weapons are not carnal — bombs, guns, and knives, but rather spiritual, the Holy Spirit. Therefore, more pray and fasting will end generational drug abuse, child abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and community and domestic violence because we serve a mighty God. Today, I pray for all of those who have lost a loved ones through the act of violence. I pray that we turn to God during times of warfare and despair when we feel that the strong hold is more than we can bare.

 

Proverbs 14:1-3 Do You Build or Destroy?

Proverbs 14: 1-3 (NIV)
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly, but those who despise him are devious in their ways. A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.

“The wise woman (or man) builds her (or his) house, but the foolish tears it down with her (or his) own hands.” This scripture resonates with me when I think about people who are on the journey to building a family. When a man and a woman choose to embark upon a journey of lifelong partnership, their decisions will affect the whole household. Therefore, if they both choose to walk upright and fear the Lord, they will continue to build a strong house. If one spouse chooses to despise the other spouse, that is despising the Lord too. Resultantly, the spouse’s devious ways will tear down the house which was built. Today, I pray for marriages to be built on the solid rock, our Lord, so even in the hard times it will last and flourish. I pray that the husband and wife chooses introspection in difficult times so each one can acknowledge personal wrongs and seek God for direction. So, today, what do you choose? Do you choose to stand on God and gain wisdom to build up your house, or do you choose to seek yourself, stand on stubbornness and tear down what you built? So, do you build or destroy? The choice is yours.

Romans 8:5-6 Mind Check

Romans 8:5-6 (NIV)
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

As a mental health professional, I always emphasize the importance that change starts in the mind. Once a person changes their thoughts, their behaviors and feelings will follow. Our scripture reminds us that what we choose to govern our mind, will be our destiny. Today, I challenge you to do a mind check. What predominates your mind? What kind of thoughts have you had lately and are you pleased with the subsequent actions? I encourage you to take ten minutes and reflect on the thoughts you’ve had lately and if they are based on the flesh or the Spirit?

Galatians 5:22-23 What Type of Fruit Do You Bear?

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Have you stopped to think lately what type of fruit you bear? Do you bring love to your family, peace to your workplace, patience to your enemies, and kindness to the homeless? Do you bear fruit that will have people to stop and ask you where the extra pep in your step comes from? Do you bear fruit that will cause someone to ask how you are extremely discipline or gentle? Does your fruit drop seeds that are worth watering? Every now and then as a Christian, you have to evaluate the seeds you sow into people’s lives and be mindful of the fruit you are bearing. The fruit you bear is a representation of the work of Christ. Therefore, reflect if you are producing fruit that is harvesting or destroying the works of Christ. So, what type of fruit do you bear?

2 Corinthians 5:14-17 Stop. Delete. Replace.

2 Corinthians 5:14-17
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

When someone first accepts Christ into their life, they are extremely excited! They are consumed in the fire of the Holy Spirit, yet sometimes there is an ever present struggle between the old self and the new self. The old self condemns for all of the past wrongs and fills the mind with guilt and shame. The new self remembers this scripture, and says, Christ died for my sins, He now dwells in me, so the old has passed away and the new has come. This constant battle between the old and new self will only be won once you STOP. DELETE. REPLACE. your negative thinking. As you continue to get closer to Christ, the enemy will continue to attack your blind spots through your thoughts. Therefore, you cannot just be in the presence of God, you must be in God so the Holy Spirit can help you stop, delete, and replace condemning and defeating thoughts. Always remember, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold, the new has come. Let the new you come and continue to let Christ dwell in you so you can ascend higher!

 

Philippians 3:13-14 Do You Trust God Enough to Persevere?

Philippians 3:13-14
Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

This morning I shared with my Instagram community, "Your job is to keep persevering until God handles the situation!" One aspect of perseverance is forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, as Paul noted in this letter. Just last week we saw Christ's perseverance in His assignment and towards the promise by his father. Christ had to reach forward so our lives could be saved. So, the question is, what do you have to reach forward towards and will you trust God so you can obtain the prize promised to you? Will you trust God like Christ trusted his heavenly father and persevere towards your assignment? Will you continue to push your way towards your uniquely designed purpose by forging ahead? I encourage you to use Christ as your example like Paul did and forget what is behind and persevere toward what is ahead!

Isaiah 53:1-6 Your Personal Journey to Building the Ultimate Connection with Christ, Pt. 7

Isaiah 53:1-6 (NIV)
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

So, now we have it, FAITH, HOPE, TRUST & LOVE!

 As the scripture reminds us, we all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all!  God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, for our iniquities.  Over 2,000 years ago when Jesus hung on that old rugged cross, with sweat, blood, and tears dripping from His body, He died for your sins and rose again, so you could have a personal relationship with God Almighty!  That personal relationship begins with acceptance; acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins.  However, it doesn’t stop there.  God wants you to build on that personal relationship. God wants you to have a close bond and ultimate connection with Him through: Faith, Hope, Trust, and Love!

Click here to download the Devotional with Reflection Questions

James 5:13-15 Your Personal Journey to Building the Ultimate Connection with Christ Pt. 2

James 5:13-15 (ESV)
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Last week we reflected on the importance of staying connected to Christ and now let’s take a look at the first step — faith.

Faith, is building a relationship with God. How can you build a relationship with God, you may ask? It is through Daily Prayer. In the movie, Miss Clara showed Elizabeth how to pray, and not just pray out of frustration, rather pray with the spirit of expectation! Daily Prayer as John 14:25 reads, “I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. Prayer builds faith and faith provides endurance through every situation you may face! This type of peace of mind that grows your faith cannot be found in the world but only through Christ Jesus! Therefore daily pray connects you closer to Him! During this Lenten season, as you seek to form a deeper connection to Jesus, you need to have faith in your prayers! Faith is the one and only thing that you need. Faith that God will not leave nor forsake you, faith that God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory, faith that you will embody resilience while exiting the storm, faith that He will open the right doors and close the wrong ones, faith that He has the healing power, faith that He can be your comforter in the midnight hour, and faith that you will be ready to embark upon a new journey at the end of your preparation season. Even the rapper Big Krit says, “Don’t get it twisted, I ain’t no saint, I ain’t no pastor. But prayer ain’t just for cloudy days and natural disasters.” Hence, prayer needs to be a daily commitment! So, don’t limit yourself and pray only when you need God. Prayer builds faith and in order to increase your faith, you have to have continuous communication with God.

Click here to download the Devotional with Reflection Questions

Revelations 3:15-18 - Your Personal Journey to Building the Ultimate Connection with Christ

Revelations 3:15-18
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Many of you may have seen the movie, War Room, which was released in 2015. The premise of the movie is that the Jordans who seem to have it all on the outside are internally dying. The daughter feels unloved, the husband flirts with temptation, and the wife becomes increasingly bitter. You see the Jordans are a true example of how many Christians deceive others through the appearances they keep up, but there is someone we cannot deceive! God! God, brought Miss Clara, into the wife, Elizabeth’s life. Through the relationship that was forged between Miss Clara and Elizabeth, the Jordans learned the formula for the Ultimate Connection with God! This connection that Elizabeth learned was vital to not only her healing but those around her!
Staying connected and having the ultimate connection with Christ is important because it shields us from the bait of Satan. John Bevere, said in his book, The Bait of Satan, "Often when we are offended we see ourselves as victims and blame those who have hurt us.  We justify our bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, envy, and resentment as they surface.  Sometimes we even resent those who remind us of others who have hurt us.  For this reason Jesus counseled, ‘Anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see’ (Rev. 3:18).  See what?  Your true condition!  That's the only way we can "be zealous and repent" as Jesus commanded next.  You will only repent when you stop blaming other people.  When we blame others and defend our own position, we are blind.  We struggle to remove the speck out of our brothers eye while there is a long one in ours" (p. 10).
Just as the scripture says about being lukewarm, we need to be hot for Christ, and the way to stay hot is to be connected! Therefore, over these next six Wednesdays, we are going to explore the steps, to have an ultimate connection with Christ, so we can take ourselves out of the victim role, and identify areas of easy attack. Resultantly, when we find ourselves emotionally and spiritually dying, we know what steps we need to take to stay connected!

Click here to download Devotional with reflection questions

Exodus 33:14-16 - You're Not Alone

Exodus 33:12-14
Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

So many times in life when people face adversities they approach them as their worldly counterparts would. They start to get anxious, producing worries outside of their control, and forget that God says cast your burdens on me and I'll give your rest! The scripture reminds believers, that they have found favor in God's sight and His presence is omnipresent. Therefore, when you find yourself in a challenging or comprising situation, especially involving your integrity, remember that you are part of the chosen people. Being a part of the chosen people, means addressing situations with peace, solitude, and comfort, knowing that God is there to ease your troubled mind, shield you from the storm, and be with you along the journey.